Monday, December 08, 2008

November 24 Meeting: Helping the Elderly in an Economic Recession

5th Community Forum speakers

Click here to listen.

Speakers: Jim Shon, Noemi Pendelton


Jim Shon:

Expect plenty of bills favoring gambling.

Legislative task forces are exploring issues that can lay the foundation for future legislation:

• Paid Family Leave for caregiver employees. Hawaii’s leave policy only covers firms with over 100 employees, 40 % of workforce. Need to gather more data.
• Building Assets for seniors. Exploring ways to educate seniors.
• Taskforce to re-evaluate case managers fees, communication with family members, paper work.

Other Task forces:

• Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: services, permissions and respite
• Cash and Counseling Project: Consumer directed choice
• Home Medical Equipment Project: Licensing and oversight

Noemi Pendleton, Director EOA, Helping the Elderly in an Economic Recession:

Everyone can do their part by donating their time, talents, money, and needed items to organizations in the aging network that provide services to the elderly. Advocacy for kupuna issues is helpful especially during this financial time. We can all collaboratively kokua for the benefit of our kupuna.

EOA, along with the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA), National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA) and National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A), is working towards the “3 Legged Stool” or known nationally as Project 2020.

To address the aging population and the financial situation, this 3-pronged approach includes:

1) Person-Centered Access to Information such as an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). A one stop shop can provide outreach, information, resources, and educational materials to the older adults and people with disabilities; Hilo has a physical ADRC and Honolulu will have a virtual ADRC;
2) Evidence-Based Disease Prevention and Health Promotion – Promotes health and wellness programs for healthy aging and saves money in the long run as it helps prevent chronic disease; the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-management program is implemented statewide and Enhance Fitness is offered in Kauai;
3) Enhanced Nursing Home Diversion Services such as cash and counseling in which EOA funded a study on this program.

These programs will empower individuals to make informed decisions and to better conserve and extend their own resources using lower cost evidence-based programs, including consumer-directed options for care in the community. The 3-pronged approach would also generate significant savings for state and federal governments.”